During the conference I share a narrow college room with my ex-girlfriend, so we can go on to Germany together next. Since I last saw her she has climbed Ben Nevis, bought a BSA Regal, got an editor’s job in London. The first afternoon we find a stone path behind the college, scramble to the top of Arthur’s Seat and crouch in the mustard grass. Still breathless, I try to apologise for how it ended back in Brisbane. The wind is cold and bullying so she gives me her jacket, white blonde hair flicks her face and glasses. The city can’t stop falling into low sun. That night I go to a poetry reading, a pub, vinegar sharp, in the Old Town. When I get back she is still awake, cocooned in her sleeping bag. “That smarmy professor who chaired your panel burst in here an hour ago, pissed and naked, tried to get on top of me.” I stare at her in shock. “He was snuffling at my breasts and whining about his wife. I threw him on the floor and made him crawl back outside.” We lie side by side, not touching. Just above her head what looks like a moth squats flat against the wall. A while later she adds “He had the smallest dick I’ve ever seen.” A pause – then we laugh until we ache, lying on our backs again in the yellow grass, the jacarandas, the raw room. She is both anger and generosity, like the ambulance siren at 1.00am. When morning comes there is fog and Arthur’s Seat fills the window like some medieval lord who feels entitled.
- 99: BROWNFACESUBMIT NOW with W S Dunn 98: SINGAPORECOMING SOON with A Pang and J Ip 97: PROPAGANDACOMING SOON with M Breeze and S Groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRO AUSTRALIANwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones